Unlike seemingly every other city on the planet, it looked like Tokyo had all but sidestepped the gourmet burger craze that saw a slew of high profile openings from Beijing (Burger Bar) and Shanghai (Beef & Liberty), to New York (Umami Burger and L.A. (State Social House in the last year alone. But at long last the Japanese capital is dipping a toe in the meaty, cheese-slathered fold, and unsurprisingly it’s a New York-native expat, namely Eliot Bergman, who’s emerged as the man most likely to kickstart the tasty movement with his new Shinjuku patty palace, Martiniburger.
Set on an unassuming, neighbourhood street, and boasting a simple but sleekly luminous fitout, Martiniburger dishes up a few of the things the Americans do best. There are vodka-based cocktails, not least the namesake martini and oh-so-NYC cosmopolitan; a single craft beer – Bergman’s hometown brew Brooklyn Lager, naturally – on tap; a real-deal NY cheesecake; and, of course, their self-proclaimed ‘best burgers in Tokyo’. The signature Martiniburgers are a simple but devastatingly delicious affair, with an all-beef patty on a fresh-baked English muffin with bearnaise sauce, but for the more complex burger lover there’s also the ‘Bronx’ topped with chili and Colby Jack cheese, the ‘Westside’ with bacon, onions and BBQ sauce, or the ‘Skyscraper’, teetering with onions, bacon, chili, mushrooms, avocado, cheddar and gouda cheese, plus a whopping 200g patty. Dig in, Tokyo!
Nakazatocho 31 / Shinjuku-ku / +81 3 6280 8920 / closed Mon / martini-burger.com